Best of est 2019 | Australian Design Showrooms

Some may say we’ve saved the best till last, with five fresh Australian design showrooms joining our Best of est series for 2019.

In 2019 Australia’s design showroom offering grew in size and calibre. Cropping up most prominently in Melbourne and Sydney, these gallery-like spaces affirmed they’re much more than a destination to display products – but a place that closely resembles the way we’d like to live.

Brands and retailers we’re proud to support at est, we’re highlighting new Melbourne showrooms for Boffi and vboaustralia, new flagship Sydney stores for Armadillo & Co and Aesop and a stellar showroom revamp by Spence & Lyda. Each demonstrates innovative ways to showcase products, in the spirit of their design ethos, while reflecting places we’d like to call home.

Boffi Melbourne Showroom

Italian design house Boffi unveiled their second Australian showroom in 2019, down a side street in Collingwood, Melbourne. They had waited for the perfect opportunity to showcase Boffi’s kitchen and bathroom range, as well as Italian furniture brand De Padova, furniture and shelvings brand MA/U Studio and AOL specialised partition systems.

That opportunity was a gospel hall, with unique architectural details such as pressed metal ceilings, as well as original windows and brickwork. These characterful surrounds were divided up into dedicated spaces for each brand that act as a visual complement, mirroring a cosy home or brooding hospitality destination. The Melbourne showroom follows Australian interior designer Edwina Wither’s opening of Boffi Studio Sydney in 2013; both sharing laser-sharp attention to aesthetic and contemporary design sensibility.

vboaustralia Melbourne Showroom

Another Italian great to set up shop in Melbourne was vboaustralia, the exclusive distributor of HENRYTIMI and Viabizzuno in Australia. With the successful opening of their Sydney showroom in 2018, vboaustralia’s new space cements their relationship with Italian designer Henry Timi and Viabizzuno, offering the chance to view their designs first hand.

The Wellington Parade showroom was designed in collaboration with both of these brands, culminating in a curated space of architectural lighting, furniture, accessories, and one of HENRYTIMI’s famous kitchens. Having celebrated their opening, and listened to designer, founder and creative director of Viabizzuno lighting, Mario Nanni speak, we can only affirm this prized addition to Melbourne’s design showrooms.

Armadillo & Co Sydney Showroom

Luxury rug brand Armadillo & Co’s highly-anticipated flagship showroom in Surry Hills, Sydney didn’t disappoint when it opened doors late last year, coinciding with the brand’s ten year anniversary.

Melbourne-based Studio Goss collaborated with co-founders Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst to capture the essence of the Armadillo & Co brand, across two storeys and 385 square metres. Studio Goss set out to echo the brand through simplicity, quality, and peaceful, understated luxury, inspiring people to bring Armadillo & Co’s rugs to life in their own homes. The gallery-like space also includes Armadillo & Co headquarters, where staff members become brand ambassadors; a showroom experience not to miss in 2020.

Spence & Lyda Sydney Showroom

Fiona Lyda’s showroom Spence & Lyda was established in 1993 in Surry Hills, Sydney, moving into an expansive new space eight years ago. While it may not be new in 2019, Spence & Lyda’s showroom, like every year, was entirely revamped to put all of its new and exciting pieces on a pedestal.

Testament to the retailer’s ethos, the Spence & Lyda showroom is imbrued with design excellence, and passionately founded on an immersive experience. The showroom includes everyday items, as well as the latest lighting and furniture by some of the world’s leading product designers; housing brands such as Valerie Objects, Missoni Home, Pinch and DCWeditions.

Aesop Sydney Flagship Store

While Aesop has forged a reputation with each of its showroom collaborations, their space in Pitt Street, Sydney marked a momentous occasion; three successful decades and their largest space to date. For this, they enlisted Norwegian design firm Snøhetta.

Snøhetta Senior architect Peter Girgis said the space is true to the spirit that’s present in all Aesop stores, tapping into a soothing, calming and transformative environment. “Imagine you’re in a cathedral or a vast valley,” he says. “Yes, there’s a feeling of greatness, but there’s also a sense of smallness, of introspection, of perspective. This contradiction is where our design sits.”

Wrapped entirely in granite, the store reveals a large stainless steel counter and three staggered sinks, each allowing for interaction with Aesop’s skincare philosophy, formulations, and application techniques.

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